Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Bolstering UN support to the Ebola outbreak

WHO Director-General's visit to Mali, November 2014.
WHO Mali/Yvette Bivigou

24 November 2014 -- Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, visited an Ebola treatment centre in Bamako, Mali. She met with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Prime Minister Moussa Mara, and other government leaders to discuss Mali’s ongoing Ebola outbreak response and ways UN organizations could increase their support. The support of the UN and other partners will enhance Mali's capability to contain transmission from across the border, and respond robustly to any future importation.

When Ebola came calling: how communities in Sierra Leone faced the challenge

Ibrahim Suri Kamara helps one of his daughters, sick with Ebola, to a drink, Port Loko, Sierra Leoone, 2014.
WHO/C. Black

20 November 2014 -- When Ebola first swept through Port Loko District, the rash of sudden inexplicable deaths was so shocking that local people explained it as "a witch plane crash". But as husbands, wives, aunts, uncles and children began to sicken and die they realized this was not a supernatural event but something very human - that would take human actions to reverse. WHO began racing to set up community care centres. The first of these centres opened on 3 November. Here in pictures is the story of what they did.

Ebola response roadmap

WHO has issued a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in west Africa. The roadmap aims to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6-9 months while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. It also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socioeconomic impact.

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Our vision

An integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies based on strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response.


Core functions

  • Support Member States for the implementation of national capacities for epidemic preparedness and response in the context of the IHR(2005), including laboratory capacities and early warning alert and response systems;
  • Support national and international training programmes for epidemic preparedness and response;
  • Coordinate and support Member States for pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response;
  • Develop standardized approaches for readiness and response to major epidemic-prone diseases (e.g. meningitis, yellow fever, plague);
  • Strengthen biosafety, biosecurity and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens outbreaks (e.g. SARS, viral haemorrhagic fevers); Maintain and further develop a global operational platform to support outbreak response and support regional offices in implementation at regional level.

Latest publications

Website for Information and Communication Technologies for Public Health Emergency Management launched


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Highlights

Global Infection Prevention and Control Network (GIPC Network) Launch

WHO Unit on Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies - DCE

Natural ventilation design project website launched

Communicable disease alert and response for mass gatherings